I talked with a dealer here in Indiana and he didn't even know what I was talking about. I haven't bought my Element yet, because I was concerned about the passenger weight limit. My husband is 315, I'm 250 and the other person who is always with us is 180. At this, we are already over the limit, without anything else in the car.
I would take a longer than normal test drive with it both just the driver, then with the full normal load. It is rated at 650 lbs for full carry weight, not to be confused with towing weight. I have "felt" the strain when carrying 3 very large people. Honda does not specify the consequences of continous overloads, but my guesses would be the:
the floor sagging
lowered fuel ecomony
but I'm just guessing ---